Twenty review copies of 'Bathed In Lightning' were printed in December and sent to a select coterie of (hopefully sympathetic) souls. The great Sid Smith has 'mentioned it in dispatches' online as he ploughs through it. Reviewing has almost become a spectator sport, it would seem! From this post we can see what it will be compared against - Mark Lewisohn's epic Beatles biography (volume one):


It's a scary thought. I'm reading Mark's book myself at the moment and it's a monumental work. Put it like this, where I might say, 'John McLaughlin played that night at Count Basie's in Harlem, with Tony Williams on great form...' Lewisohn would have three pages identifying the start time, who was in the audience, quoting the bouncer, the barman, the sound engineer and the candlestick maker, telling us what was played and revealing a puncture on the drive hiome afterwards. None of that is a criticism, by the way - Mark's book is incredible, fascinating and very readable. I recommend it. All I can say is that I've approached 'Bathed In Lightning' with the same aspirations towards rigour and readability, but without the resources (of time and money) available to Mark and also, of course, with a considerably less rich paper trail than that left by the Beatles, even before their period of global success. But I've done my best...


Another great surprise was a very heartening blog post by the legendary Charles Shaar Murray. The book's title derives from a typically moment-capturing phrase in a terrific piece CSM wrote for the NME in 1975, penetrating reportage from Miles Copeland's great travelling festival folly, of which the final line-up of the Mahavishnu Orchestra were a part: 'Star Truckin' '75'. I licensed CSM's piece in full as one of the appendices/bonus features in the eBook edition of 'Bathed In Lightning'. For a writer of musical history books, receiving a thumbs-up from CSM is a bit like a guitar player hearing that Jimi Hendrix likes his riffs...

posted by ADMIN  January 10, 2014 15:57  General